The new National Guidelines for Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) were released by the Australian Government yesterday.

Currently, the most significant threat to Australia comes from anyone who has adopted the extremist ideologies of groups such as ISIS and al-Qaida. With propaganda appearing on social media encouraging supporters (including those based in western countries) to act, their reach extends further than ever before.

The guidelines, developed by the Australia-New Zealand Counter-Terrorism Committee, provide general advice on what organisations can do in order to prepare and respond to an incident involving IED’s.


The guidelines offer advice on preparation:

1. Owners of properties in public areas should increase "stand-off distance" around their buildings. “Every metre of stand-off counts in mitigating the effects of a blast," the guidelines state.

2. The guidelines recommend the installation of "strategically-placed objects" such as planter boxes, seats and bollards on pavements and entrances to buildings.

3. Where possible, it is preferable to block vehicle access to places of mass gathering altogether.

4. The guidelines also provide advice to building owners on how construction methods and materials perform against an explosion. Glass and masonry, for example, are particularly weak against air blast pressures.


The following are the main primary response objectives from the guidelines:

1. Saving and protecting lives
• Appoint an incident manager to coordinate activities until emergency services arrive.
• Identify and establish a safe first aid location.

2. Facilitating evacuation
• Provide guidance on safe routes.
• Assess the suitability of normal evacuation routes.
• Evaluate the safety of standing evacuation muster points.

3. Containing the incident or threat
• Establish a perimeter to prevent people from going near the suspect device unnecessarily.

4. Supporting emergency response activities
• Nominate a suitable emergency services liaison officer to brief the police.


There are also behaviour clues people can look out for when identifying terrorist or criminal activity: unusual video recording or photography, working in groups, taking notes/drawing diagrams, taking measurements (pacing steps out), avoiding eye contact, asking about security/operations, revisiting the same location, and observing but not using a public transport system.

If your organisation is a place of mass gathering, a site security audit should be considered to identify areas of weakness and how to address them in proportion to your threat profile.

Contact Philip Kent Hughes for further information on +61 3 8340 5219 or via email on philip.kenthughes@dynamiq.com.au

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